Last night, a guy said he likes coal. He said it right here:

If you prefer not to click play buttons, he said this:

And by the way, I like coal. I’m going to make sure we continue to burn clean coal. People in the coal industry feel like it’s getting crushed by your policies. I want to get America and North America energy independent, so we can create those jobs.

Let the professional, robust fact-checking begin.

“I like coal.”

Fact check: People don’t like rocks, that’s weird. People in the 1970s kept rocks as pets, but that was ironic.

So maybe Romney meant he likes the energy that coal provides? Let’s assume that’s what he meant. If it is, it’s a recent development. In 2003, he said this while standing outside a coal plant.

“That plant kills people,” he said. Which, you know, it does.

He definitely meant he likes people who work in the coal industry, since they vote and will stand around for free if their boss makes them.

“I’m going to make sure we continue to burn clean coal.”

The word “continue” here is confusing, since “continue” means “keep doing a thing that is being done.” The burning of clean coal is not being done because clean coal doesn’t exist. It’s like saying, “I’m going to make sure we continue to make our dreams come true by wishing for them.” That’s a hard thing to continue doing.

Don’t believe me that clean coal doesn’t exist? Believe this person or this person or the Coen brothers:

“People in the coal industry feel like it’s getting crushed by your policies.”

This is actually true! People do think that — because of an endless stream of rhetoric. What Romney didn’t say is that the coal industry is getting crushed by Obama’s policies — because it isn’t, unless by “your policies,” Romney means, “cheap natural gas.”

“I want to get America and North America energy independent, so we can create those jobs.”

Mitt Romney alllllmost messed up. His energy plan is clear: He proposes North American energy independence through the proven strategy of drilling into any part of the continent that looks black or looks like there might be something black underneath it. Mexico oil, Canada oil, whatever. That’s Mitt’s plan.

If you watch the video, Romney stutters, first saying “get America” and then catching himself. Resolute fact-checkers like myself sat up, eagerly, red pen in hand — until he caught himself and added “North.” You win this one, Romney.

Oh, I almost forgot: Increasing the use of oil and other fossil fuels from Mexico and Canada doesn’t create a lot of American jobs.

Repeat: “I like coal.”

Mitt Romney said he likes a rock. Watch it again!

Final rating

It has come to our attention that we’re supposed to issue a rating in our fact checking. So here we go.

We give this our harshest rating: One Romney.